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Becoming irrelevant is what scares me the most: Writer-lyricist Amitosh Nagpal

Playwright and Bollywood lyricist Amitosh Nagpal speaks about his latest theatrical production Talli Tuesday, his love for theatre, and insecurities as a writer.

bollywood Updated: Jan 09, 2018 18:29 IST
Naina Arora
Naina Arora
Hindustan Times
Amitosh Nagpal,Talli Tuesday,Stand-Up
Catch Talli Tuesday, a satirical comedy by writer and director Amitosh Nagpal, to be staged in the Capital and Gurgaon this week.

Writer lyricist Amitosh Nagpal doesn’t want the young generation to be disconnected from the fascinating world of theatre. The writer-lyricist, who got noticed with Piya Behrupiya, a Hindi musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, wants to rid theatre of the ‘serious’ tag, with his latest Talli Tuesday performance in Gurgaon and Delhi. “Theatre ke saath taboo juda hua hai, ki theatre hai toh bada serious hoga, which only certain people can go and understand. Ab jo audience stand-up dekhne jaa rahi hai, aisa na ho ki theatre se kat ke rahe (People are leaning towards stand-up comedy these days. I don’t want the new audience to be disconnected from the world of theatre),” he says.

The performance fuses stand-up comedy and theatre. The play is about a series of blind dates that take place over a dating app called Talli Tuesday. Written and directed by Amitosh, the play highlights how dating and chatting apps have made romantic relationships more amusing.

“It’s very relatable humour. When I see relationships these days, mujhe lagta hai duniya thodi talli ho gayi hai (laughs). Pehle milte hain toh selfie le rahe hote hain, phir baat nahin karte, aur sab complicate ho jata hai. Badi mazedar double standard wali cheezein hain logon ke beech. It also explores how different strata of society are reacting to new technology, and how digital things are making us lonely in a way (at first, people meet and click selfies, then stop talking, and make it complicated. The double standards are rather interesting),” he says.

A scene from the a performance of Talli Tuesday.
‘Pehle milte hain toh selfie le rahe hote hain, phir baat nahin karte, aur sab complicate ho jata hai’

With films such as Hindi Medium (2017) and Oye Lucky Lucky Oye (2008) to his credit, the lyricist from Hisar (Haryana) believes that direction and writing are extensions to being an actor, which he wanted to be, as a child. “[Growing up] I was one duffer saying ‘Hero banna hai’. Acting is something which I don’t do often but is close to my heart. I am an actor who is also directing and producing. When I was doing theatre in Haryana, I was also writing, acting and sometimes directing, too. Koi bhi writer or lyricist hamare sheher aata tha, uska chhota sa piece leke main perform kar leta tha, like an article or poetry. When you go to Bombay, people ask ‘Sach mein kya karte ho’. Toh main bolta hoon ki sach mein main yeh bhi kar leta hoon. Main National School of Drama (NSD) gaya tha, wahan main acting ki padai ki,” says Nagpal, who is currently busy with a biopic on badminton ace Saina Nehwal.

As our conversation veers towards award shows, since many from his fraternity are now questioning the authenticity of many award shows. He says, “Meri liye koi attraction nahi hai in cheezo mein. Ek time pe tha. I was one of those guys jisko award speeches yaad karni hoti thi.” But what does matter to Nagpal is staying relevant and meaningful, he say, “Mujhe sabse scary lagta hai, ki kisi din aap irrelevant ho gaye aur aapka pata nahi hai. Being termed irrelevant is what scares me the most.”

Catch it live
  • What: Talli Tuesday
  • Where and When: Canvas Laugh Club (Jan 12, 7.30pm), LTG Auditorium (Jan13, 4.30 and 7pm), Alliance Française (Jan14, 4,30 and 7pm)
  • Nearest metro station: Sikanderpur on Yellow Line, Mandi House on Blue Line

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First Published: Jan 09, 2018 14:52 IST